Posted on: January 28, 2009 2:31 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2009 4:41 pm

Super Bowl XLIII: Steelers 27, Cardinals 23

Wrapping up CBSSports.com's complete coverage from Tampa, Fla., site of Super Bowl XLIII, won Sunday by the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Arizona Cardinals 27-23. Stories in reverse chronological order of when they were filed, with the latest story on top. For the week's complete video coverage, including the postgame wrapup, check out Countdown to Kickoff.


Old Cards ancient history: Franchise has turned page
Hear anybody mocking the Cardinals now? Those days are over, and Pete Prisco says this franchise has the cap room and talent in place to contend long term.

Steelers No. 1 in this era, but Green Bay still all-time best
If you're talking the greatest NFL franchise since Super Bowls have been played, Pete Prisco says you're talking the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the league is older than that, and he says the all-time No. 1 is still the Packers.

'Zona fails to go with its strength in first half of Super Bowl defeat
What was Arizona thinking in the first half of the Super Bowl? The Cards abandoned their bread and butter -- the spread, no-huddle offense -- and it costs them in their 27-23 loss to the Steelers, Pete Prisco says.

Quiet Fitzgerald makes loud statement in fourth quarter
For a WR as hyped as Larry Fitzgerald, he was anonymous with just one catch in the first half of Super Bowl XLIII. However, the start of the fourth quarter brings out Fitzgerald's brilliance and in a losing effort, he puts on a performance that caps an incredible postseason, Pete Prisco says.

Prediction: Cardinals 30, Steelers 27
It will be mighty cold Monday south of the border, and we're not talking about Mexico. Pete Prisco claims the Arizona Cardinals are going to attack the Steelers and take home the Super Bowl XLIII title.

Under-the-radar players: Old man Robinson carries Cardinals
He's old, but a critical part of the Cardinals defense. Bryan Robinson, 34, has bounced around the league, but his ability to monopolize blockers makes him one of Pete Prisco's five under-the-radar players.

You won't hear Fitzgerald sing his own praises
Jerry Rice + Al Toon = Larry Fitzgerald. That's just on the field. But off the field, Fitzgerald breaks the mold. A hard-working and humble WR, he stands apart from the me-first divas of today's NFL, Pete Prisco says.

Arizona will have to spend to keep core Cards together
The Cards' history of being cheap? 'The past,' says GM Rod Graves. He will have an interesting offseason, trying to re-sign key free agents while also keeping other guys who want new deals happy, Pete Prisco says.

Cards star safety Wilson finally gets his turn in spotlight
Finally breaking out of the NFL desert, Adrian Wilson is basking in the Super Bowl spotlight. And proud Pete Prisco was one of the first to see greatness in Arizona's stellar safety.

Tough, chippy Ward plays right to line, and then some
Most agree that Hines Ward is one of the toughest receivers ever to suit up. But Pete Prisco reports many opponents say Ward crosses the line and would like to see him be on the receiving end of an up-to-the-whistle hit during the Super Bowl.

Arizona's em-Boldin-ed Haley lands in Super spotlight
Right now, Todd Haley is known for two things: a sideline dust-up with Anquan Boldin and coordinating the Cardinals' Super Bowl offense. It won't be long until Haley is known as an NFL head coach, Pete Prisco says.

Problems, pain have never held Dockett back
Looking at Darnell Dockett, it's hard to see his past pain behind his smiles. From the memories of a murdered mother and a loving family that saved a young troublemaker, Dockett's success is earned, Pete Prisco says.

Whisenhunt's desert gamble pays for coach, Cardinals
Ken Whisenhunt -- then Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator -- could have waited for the Steelers in 2007. But instead, he took a chance as head coach for the losing Cardinals. Two years later, Whisenhunt will face his former team, one for which he carries much respect, Pete Prisco says.

Cards came this close to royal flush with Peterson
The internal debate as Arizona drafted fifth overall in 2007: Levi Brown or Adrian Peterson? Pete Prisco can't help but imagine how scary the NFC champs would be if they had gone the big-play route.

Let's prohibit postseason persecution of pass-first offenses
Throw a lot during the regular season? You're bold. Do that during the playoffs? You're crazy. Pete Prisco says the NFL has changed, and the knocks Arizona will get for its pass-first attack are becoming archaic.

Broadway? No, but Warner has all numbers to make Hall
Kurt Warner, Hall of Fame lock? Skeptics remain, but comparing his career numbers to Hall of Famer Joe Namath, shows the reserved QB deserves getting his bust in Canton, Pete Prisco says.

Secrets to Arizona's surprising playoff success
Instead of wondering how the heck Arizona is headed to the Super Bowl, Pete Prisco highlights five reasons why the Cardinals shocked the football world, including Kurt Warner, D.R.C. and a nice Christmas present.

Cards-Steelers classic matchup of great offense vs. stifling defense
If the old saying about defense winning championship holds true, the Cardinals might be in trouble in Super Bowl XLIII. But Pete Prisco isn't so sure the Steelers' suffocating D can hold Arizona's big-time offense.


Consistently good, often great, Steelers are the best
After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, the Steelers have been blessed to find the promised land six times in the past three-plus decades. Winning year after year makes Pittsburgh the cream of the NFL crop, Clark Judge says.

Super Bowl Judgements: Amid late-game heroics, who cheers for Harrison?
James Harrison has the longest play in Super Bowl history and all people can talk about are Santonio and Big Ben? What gives? Clark Judge has props for Pittsburgh's interception machine.

Two-time champion Roethlisberger clutch enough for Canton
Ben Roethlisberger's stats aren't gaudy -- except those numbers in the win column. And when you throw in Big Ben's cool in the clutch, you might be talking about a Hall of Fame QB, Clark Judge says after the Steelers win Super Bowl XLIII.

Ex-Steeler coaches have pattern of Super Bowl success
Rams vs. Steelers in '80. Cardinals vs. Steelers in '09. Both Super Bowls feature ex-Pittsburgh coaches going up against their former team. Count on Steel City experience playing a factor Sunday, Clark Judge says.

Prediction: Steelers 24, Cardinals 14
Clear off a spot in the trophy case, Pittsburgh. A sixth Lombardi Trophy is coming your way, if Clark Judge is right. And why not? The Steelers have the defense, the coaching and Big Ben. The Cardinals don't.

Under-the-radar players: Starks must help Big Ben survive
For every Big Ben, there's a Max Starks trying to protect him. For every James Harrison, there's a Brett Keisel helping him make tackles. Clark Judge has five under-the-radar Steelers who can make a Super Bowl impact.

Plays hard? Plays dirty? Ward gets split decision
Opinions on Hines Ward: Outstanding, tough, classy receiver, or cheap-shot artist. Clark Judge hears both sides, and from the smiling Steelers star.

Keeping LeBeau, D system was Tomlin's sharpest move of all
As Mike Tomlin got his first team to run, he had a huge decision: Keep veteran Dick LeBeau to run his defense or shift to his 4-3 template? Clark Judge says the pat hand was the brilliant one.

Tomlin takes debate out of Steelers' outside-box choice
Ken Whisenhunt or Russ Grimm were passed over in Pittsburgh and left for Arizona. But Mike Tomlin's smashing success with the Steelers means everyone is happy heading into Super Bowl XLIII.

Unwanted to DPOY? Harrison follows Warner's long road
James Harrison didn't have the right body type, size or speed. So like Kurt Warner, the dismissed Steelers defensive leader was forced to take the long, hard road to NFL stardom, Clark Judge says.

Big Ben's five-year credentials already smell Cantonese
Granted, Ben Roethlisberger hasn't yet done it over the long haul. But after five NFL seasons, the Steelers QB already has a foot in the door at Canton, Clark Judge says.

Past might be prologue for Super Bowl XLIII
Looking for the Super Bowl edge? Maybe a point of reference? Have no fear, because Clark Judge and his scout counterpart are breaking it down using empirical data: last season's Cardinals win over Pittsburgh.

Baltimore owner opens doors with big Harbaugh score
The Ravens broke an unwritten rules when they hired Eagles special teams guru John Harbaugh as head coach. Clark Judge says the original thinking paid big rewards -- and opened doors for other non-coordinators.

Big Ben a Cardinal? It could have gone down that way
It's funny how things turn out. Arizona easily could have drafted Ben Roethlisberger instead of Larry Fitzgerald as the third overall pick in '04. Clark Judge points out Kurt Warner ends up a Card thanks to that draft, too.

Steelers to raise curtain on another Super Bowl championship
The Cardinals are a great story, with their ageless quarterback and explosive offense. But flash will not beat substance in Super Bowl XLIII, and the Steelers' relentless defense will prove that once again, Clark Judge says.


Steelers -- not Pats -- best franchise. Don't agree? Go to the video
Quick question: Who's the best organization in the NFL? Patriots, right? Not according to Gregg Doyel, who says the Steelers are the cream of the crop because they were never accused of cheating during their Super Bowl runs.

Best catch ever? Oh, give me a Holmes
Best reception? Must be Swann or Tyree. But there's a catch: Neither guy scored. Given the stakes, degree of difficulty and location (end zone), No. 1 is Santonio Holmes' Super Bowl winner, Gregg Doyel says.

Prediction: Cardinals 31, Steelers 24
Always one to go against the grain, Gregg Doyel says defense and running will not win this year's NFL championship. In the pretty Tampa setting, the pretty Cardinals will top the Steelers to give Bill Bidwill a pretty Lombardi Trophy.

Steelers tailback Parker is very good, but not great
Willie Parker stunk it up in college at North Carolina. He won't even talk about it. Why was he so bad? It's because he was soft and lazy, Gregg Doyel -- who covered Parker in Chapel Hill -- says. He's a good NFL player, but not a great one.

Steelers tailback Parker is very good, but not great
Willie Parker stunk it up in college at North Carolina. He won't even talk about it. Why was he so bad? It's because he was soft and lazy, Gregg Doyel -- who covered Parker in Chapel Hill -- says. He's a good NFL player, but not a great one.

Hometowns of Boldin, Holmes falling victim to economy, violence
Anquan Boldin (Pahokee) and Santino Holmes (Belle Glade) come from small Florida towns that are losing jobs -- and young men -- at an alarming rate. Football, a 'muck' area religion, is a rare ticket out, Gregg Doyel says.

At low point of his career, Leinart has never been more likeable
Matt Leinart had it all and just like that, it was gone. He made mistakes -- a lot of public, stupid ones -- and Arizona's top pick in 2006 won't smell on the field on Sunday. Through it all, Leinart has been humbled -- and that puts him in Gregg Doyel's good graces.

Super Bowl won't change cheap, losing legacy of 'Dollar Bill'
The Cardinals are in the Super Bowl, football's holy grail. But Gregg Doyel won't allow revisionist history: The Cardinals are here in spite of the worst owner in the NFL -- 'Dollar' Bill Bidwill.

Cardinals legend Trippi proves NFL titles aren't shoe-ins
It has been 62 years since the Cardinals won a title -- and Charley Trippi was there, scoring touchdowns ... in tennis shoes? The icy field that day foreshadowed six decades of Cardinals misery, but the vision of Charles Bidwill Sr. still has breath in his star of 1947, Gregg Doyel says.


Steelers best pro football has seen by a whisker over ... Browns?
After noting that being the best NFL franchise ever doesn't necessary mean best U.S. pro franchise ever, Mike Freeman concedes the Steelers are probably the former -- but not by much over a surprising runner-up.

Super Bowl XLIII goes from dud to dynamite
Who saw this finish coming? Through three quarters, Super Bowl XLIII lacks fireworks. Then there's the fourth. Santonio Holmes makes a tip-toe winning TD catch with 35 seconds left, answering Larry Fitzgerald's 64-yard score in the Steelers' 27-23 win over the Cardinals. Mike Freeman says the final period is worth the wait.

Prediction: Cardinals 33, Steelers 20
Lesson, learned. Medicine, taken. Mike Freeman has seen the light, and it shines on the Arizona Cardinals -- Super Bowl XLIII champions in an upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pulling curtain back on Whisenhunt-Roethlisberger relationship
Player-coach alliances can sometimes be uneasy. Just ask Ben Roethlisberger and Ken Whisenhunt. But forget the back-and-forth barbs. The QB and his ex-coach have each other to thank for where they are, Mike Freeman says.

Patient James on Edge of ultimate reward, revenge
Despite years of success, Edgerrin James was benched early in the season for rookie Tim Hightower. And strange enough for these days, he was awfully quiet. Mike Freeman hopes Edge gives the Cards a big 'I told you so.'

Cardinals, star safety keep Tillman's memory alive
The Cardinals are not among those who question Pat Tillman's motives in leaving the NFL for the Army. Adrian Wilson tells Mike Freeman that a generous Tillman helped mold him into a Pro Bowl safety.

Forget weenie critics: Fierce Ward plays tough game hard
Critics call Hines Ward a dirty player. Ignore them, Mike Freeman says. The Steelers wideout plays by the rules and with an attitude that should land him in the Hall of Fame.

With so much progress, is Rooney Rule still necessary?
The hiring of Raheem Morris, and Mike Tomlin before him, represent important leaps for African-Americans in the NFL. Even young black coaches are getting their shots now. This has some wondering if the Rooney Rule is needed anymore, Mike Freeman says.

Arizona overcomes putrid past to reach Super Bowl
When one thinks of the Arizona Cardinals, memories of cheap ownership, poor draft picks, bad personnel moves -- the list is endless. But that doesn't matter now since the Cards are headed to Tampa for the Super Bowl, and that's still a crazy thought, Mike Freeman says.

Just like Series, this Super Bowl will fall short of classic
Is Cinderella the best this Super Bowl has? The clock struck midnight on that story line a long time ago. That's why Mike Freeman predicts lower-than-usual ratings, a la the Rays-Phillies World Series.


Steelers-Cardinals matchup

A look at the head-to-head matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl.


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Roster | Depth Chart | Statistics


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